The House that was Eureka

Text Classics, 2013

It was the gun-dream Noel was dreaming. He had it more and more as time went on... Suddenly, not far away, there were bullet bangs.

Noel lives with his despotic grandmother in a dilapidated terrace house in inner-Sydney. When Evie and her family move in next door, a nightmare from the past begins to play itself out in the present lives of the two teenagers.  It seems that the consequences may prove to be even more deadly, the second time around.

Inspired by the anti-eviction battles of the Great Depression, The House That Was Eureka interweaves a story of two contemporary adolescents who fight for independence and dignity.


Selected Reviews

Wheatley’s book has urgency and fierce strength... The characters from both eras are “alive and flying”, freedom fighters who are aware they are making history.
— Maurice Saxby, The Proof of the Puddin’
This is a superb book, well researched and skilfully executed... Wheatley is always in command of her writing, and the techniques she uses are reminiscent of Alan Garner in Red Shift. The story is both entertaining and has much to say about family relationships, social justice and relationships.
— Review Bulletin, Information and Resources Section, Curriculum Branch, Victorian Ministry of Education
An exceptional book, which will intrigue both adolescent and adult... Rest assured, The House that was Eureka will establish itself as a classic in adolescent fiction.
— Don Matthews, Newcastle Morning Herald
The House That was Eureka is a book for grown-ups as much as children, and demonstrates brilliantly the impossibility of drawing any final line between juvenile and adult literature. The book draws its un-put-downable vitality from Wheatley’s adroit research and re-imagining of the social history of the Depression... Such a book particularly challenges the theorists who think that social and historical realism are mined-out for entertainment.
— Sylvia Lawson, Sydney Morning Herald


Shortlisted, Australian Vogel Awards, 1984

New South Wales Premier's Children's Book Award, 1986

Commended, CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers, 1986

Shortlisted, National Children's Book Award, South Australia, 1986